Trapattoni hails Republic despite loss to Uruguay

Giovanni Trapattoni
Trapattoni shouts out instructions in Tuesday's friendly

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni said that he took "many positives" from Tuesday's 3-2 friendly defeat by Uruguay at the Aviva Stadium.

After trailing 3-1, the under-strength Irish fought back against the World Cup semi-finalists and Andy Keogh missed a glorious late chance.

"I was very, very happy with our performance after half-time," stated Italian Trapattoni.

"We recovered very well in the second half, we played with good personality."

He added: "We played well. We had a good direction."

Diego Lugano gave the visitors the lead after 12 minutes but Shane Long equalised within three minutes.

However, the Republic were caught out by superb finishes from Edinson Cavani and Abel Hernandez.

Trapattoni saw plenty to be pleased with though, especially in the performance of Long, who excelled in the absence of veteran striker Robbie Keane.

"Shane Long has played very, very well. He has matured a lot. We are happy because he was alone up front and did well," added Trapattoni.

"He helped the whole team, he made two or three fantastic actions. With the last second we could have even achieved a draw."

Stand-in skipper Stephen Kelly also found reason for cheer in his team's performance after the break.

"We knew they were a good side and that they would pass the ball," he said.

"They caught us on a fast break twice but when we conceded we stayed positive. There were a lot of positive performances and that gives the manager something to think about."

Kelly added: "I was very proud to lead the lads out today.

"It is a pity about the result but otherwise it has been a good day for me."

Long, the Republic's man of the match, felt that the home side had shown "great character in the second half".

He commented: "We came out and took the game to them and they are fourth in the world - semi-finalists in the World Cup.

"We did ourselves proud tonight. We had a few good performances and put a problem or two in the gaffer's head."